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With: Keira Knightley, Matthew Rhys, Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy
Written by: Sharman Macdonald
Directed by: John Maybury
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 110
Date: 06/18/2008

The Edge of Love (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

The Dying of the Light

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Here's a biopic of a famous writer and a film about the horrors of war; it's a wonder that the combo wasn't automatically showered with prizes. But it arrives here after a quiet run in England, too late for awards season. The Edge of Love tells the story of the great Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (Matthew Rhys). His wife Caitlin (Sienna Miller) and his childhood sweetheart Vera (Keira Knightley) meet up during the Blitz of 1940 and become best friends. Dylan flirts with Vera, but she falls in love with a soldier, William (Cillian Murphy), who of course is just about to be shipped out to war and of course leaves her pregnant. In-between, Dylan tries to write, reads poetry, acts outrageously, drinks and argues with his employers, while the others smoke and lay about in shirtsleeves and bathrobes. Director John Maybury (Love Is the Devil, The Jacket) tries hard to film this routine material with some cinematic flourish; he very often creates a kind of odd, out-of-body feel. But the material is already too familiar and too grounding, and even Maybury seems to lose his way. Moreover, no one seems to know what the movie is about; is it about the friendship, Thomas's life and women, or the war? Knightley, with her little Welsh accent, looks lovelier here than she has in a long while (it's far more interesting than The Duchess), but she's not enough to sell this. The film opens March 13 in Los Angeles, and expands to New York March 20 and San Francisco April 3.

DVD Details: The 2009 DVD from Image Entertainment comes with a not-bad commentary track by director Maybury and star Rhys, as well as a cute 10-minute behind-the-scenes feaurette and a 4-minute gag reel. There are also trailers and optional English & Spanish subtitles.

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